Venison Meatloaf




  • 1¬Ĺ lbs. of ground venison
  • 8 slices of bacon, ground or chopped very fine
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup of steel cut oats
  • 1 11.5-ounce can of organic diced tomatoes, with liquid
  • 2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. coarse ground pepper
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • dash of worcestershire sauce


  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 6 tbs. dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. yellow mustard


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Mix all of the meatloaf ingredients together and place in a greased loaf pan.
  • Shape to form loaf.
  • Mix ingredients for topping and spread over meatloaf.
  • Cover with foil.
  • Bake for 40 minutes.
  • Remove foil and bake 20 more minutes or until done.

Tonight You Belong To Me (Cover)


Something to make you smile.ūüôā

Loving father Benjamin J. Ames singing with his 4 year old daughter, hot pink ukulele and all. “She thought she kept hearing fireworks and couldn’t sleep, so we sang to keep her mind preoccupied. In the end, nothing competes with fireworks.”

6 Year Old Charlotte Figi Inspired New Medical Marijuana Dubbed “Charlotte’s Web” To Help Treat Epilepsy, Seizures and Cancer


Charlotte’s Web is special strain of marijuana developed by the Stanley brothers ¬†(Joel, Jesse, Jon, Jordan, Jared and Josh)¬†for the purposes of bringing the extremely beneficial Cannabidiol or CBD, to patients who need the therapeutic benefits of the plant, without the psychoactivity¬†accompanied by THC. ¬†It does not induce the psychoactive “high” typically associated with recreational marijuana use. ¬†A CBD rich Cannabis Oil¬†is extracted from the harvested plants and concentrated through rotary evaporation. ¬†To make it easier to perform clinical trials, they are planning to move the Charlotte’s Web part of their operation to Uruguay. ¬†By doing so, they will also be able to import it to any U.S. state as hemp. (source Wikipedia)

Charlotte’s Web is named after Charlotte Figi, whose parents and physicians say she experienced a significant reduction of her epileptic seizures after her first dose of medical marijuana at five years of age, and whose usage of the strain was featured in the 2013 CNN documentary “Weed”. ¬†Media coverage increased demand for Cannabis¬†Oil and similar products high in CBD, which has been used to treat cancer and epilepsy in toddlers and children. ¬†Families who say they have run out of pharmaceutical options have moved to Colorado in order¬†to access the strain. ¬†While the use of medical marijuana products is allowed in many U.S. states, the nationwide legal status of Cannabis Oil is less clear.

More and more we are opening our minds to the vastly superior benefits of natural healing verses profit based big pharmaceuticals.  A powerful report spanning 10 years from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has revealed that painkillers are actually responsible for a four times as many deaths as both heroin and cocaine combined. Meanwhile the 11 largest drug companies acquired $711.4 billion in profits over the 10 years ending in 2012, according to an analysis of corporate filings by Health Care for America Now (HCAN).  The global pharmaceutical industry derived much of that profit from price-gouging the Medicare Part D prescription drug program for seniors and people with disabilities.

Americans pay significantly more than any other country for the exact same drugs.  In 2012 alone, the drug companies’ profits reached $83.9 billion, 62 percent higher than in 2013.

Middle Age Manifesto: The Winter of My Discontent


How many times in our lives do we think we deserve more than we were given?  We are settling for Joe, when Johan is out there waiting for us.  You see, Joe and Johan are not the same.

What happened to all the fun?  Youthful smoke mellowed days of partying with friends and letting the sun bake your skin to a deep golden bronze while blasting Zeppelin at ear-piercing decibels.  Reckless and carefree without the slightest thought of future skin cancer, potential liver damage or permanent hearing loss.  Living with no rules, no regard and no regrets.  Thinking only of yourself.21854_103015253054260_541415_n

And by the way, what happen to my fairy tale?  The one where I find the perfect Mr. Right, we make our fortune, live in a beautiful home and have the perfect life.  Where is my piece of the pie?  Are the times to Carpe Diem really over? Is this all I get?

I struggled with publishing this post, feeling apprehensive about showing this negative side of myself.¬† Then I realized feeling discontented with life is no new thing.¬† From the Bible to Shakespeare to Steinbeck to the Hollywood big screen, many have lamented over the cards they have been dealt.¬† In the movie The Family Man, Nicolas Cage plays Jack Campbell, a successful Wall Street Executive bachelor who gets to see what his life might have been like had he given up his perfect life and stayed with his old sweetheart.¬† Much like George Bailey in It’s A Wonderful Life, Jack encounters an angel on Christmas Eve who offers him the opportunity to see life from another path.¬† After a shocking wake up call on Christmas morning in middle class suburbia, wearing Walmart sweat pants and surrounded by all the other mediocre trappings of normal family life, Jack flees back to the city only to discover his former perfect life is nonexistent.

Upon returning to his bland middle class life, he encounters his now wife Kate who rips into him for leaving his family on Christmas day, letting him know how frantic she has searched for him.¬†¬† Jack replies “Look, you don’t understand.¬† I woke up this morning here.¬† And this is very strange because… this isn’t my house… ¬† And those aren’t my kids…¬† I’m not Dad…¬† You’re not¬† my wife.”

Sometimes I look at my own life and think what happened to me?¬† As I am surrounded by the cracking plaster on the 80 year old walls of our country home.¬† The badly patched hole in the ceiling, the unfinished crown molding and the wood floor that still lacks a threshold.¬† The leftover casualties of the countless DIY projects my husband eagerly starts, but never seems to finish.¬† I look at the lines on my 50 year old face, the gray in my hair and I do not recognize my own reflection in the mirror.¬† Who is that person looking back at me?¬† I look at my daughters, now in their twenties, and think that’s who I am.¬† I should be out living it up! I’m not this older woman looking back at me.¬† Frazzled and twenty pounds overweight, trying to manage my household while working and caring for my own elderly parents.

As I am dealing with my parent’s multiple medical issues, doctor’s appointments, bills that need to be paid and trying to determine how to handle the next ball I’ve been given to juggle; I see my family go about their daily lives and I want to scream “I need to be taken care of!”¬† “I’m hanging on by a thread here!”¬† “Dear God, please give me another life!”

Then a somber reality hits me like a ton of bricks and just like George Bailey and Jack Campbell, I realize I would be nothing without them.¬† An empty shell.¬† A dried husk.¬† A tumbleweed blowing in the wind.¬† They are my roots.¬† My anchor in the storm and my nourishment after the rain.¬† They are my Zuzu’s petals.¬† My reality and my reason for being.¬† They are my destiny.

So I shamefully fall to my knees and ask forgiveness for being so selfish.¬† Then say a prayer of thanksgiving for all that I have.¬† I get up, wash my face, then wash the 8,968th load of laundry and smile as I ask “What are you hungry for tonight?”¬† Because the simple fact is I am blessed beyond measure and cherish the life I’ve been given. ¬†When it’s all said and done, I still choose us and it is a wonderful life…

Home Remedy for Spider Bite


Most spider bites are harmless and require little or no treatment, except perhaps an antiseptic swab or anti-itch cream. However, there are four types of spiders commonly found in much of the United States whose bites can have more drastic effects and infections.  The four spider bites most individuals need to be especially wary of are those of the black widow, the brown recluse, the hobo spider, and the yellow sac spider.


Brown Recluse Spider – Wikipedia

The brown recluse spider is native to the United States and found mainly in the central Midwestern states southward to the Gulf of Mexico (see map).¬† It is also called the fiddleback spider due to the dark violin shaped marking appearing on the spider’s back.¬†¬†

At our country home, we’ve had our share of insect bites and I’ve been bitten by a brown recluse spider twice before.¬† Both times the bite grew to golf ball size, became infected and required a trip to my Dr. for wound debridement and a round of¬† antibiotics.¬† In both instances, I was left with an ugly dark-colored scar.

About a week ago, my 21-year-old daughter Caitlin showed signs of being bitten by a brown recluse spider.  The spider is not aggressive and will only bite if it feels threatened.  They like to hide in dark snug places and will crawl into clothing left on the floor, and occasionally will get into your bedding.

Brown Recluse Bite Symptoms

Brown recluse spider bites often go unnoticed initially because they are typically painless bites.  Symptoms usually develop two to eight hours after a bite.

Victims may experience these symptoms:

  • severe pain at bite site after about four hours,
  • severe itching
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • fever
  • muscle pain

Initially the bite site is mildly red and upon close inspection may reveal fang marks. Most commonly, the bite site will become firm and heal with little scaring over the next few days or weeks.  Occasionally, the local reaction will be more severe with reddening and blistering, sometimes leading to a blue discoloration, and ultimately leading to a necrotic lesion and scarring. Signs that may be present include:

  • blistering (common),
  • necrosis (death) of skin and subcutaneous fat (less common)
  • severe destructive necrotic lesions with deep wide borders (rare)

Caitlin initially presented with reddening of the skin, severe pain at bite sight, severe itching and mild blistering.  After doing some research, I decided to create the following home remedy:

Baking Soda
Gauze Pad
First Aid Tape (for sensitive skin use the paper type)

I melted 1 aspirin in 1 teaspoon vodka.  Then added enough baking soda to make a thick (toothpaste consistency) paste.  If the paste is too thick, add more vodka.  Gently apply a thick coating of the paste on and around the spider bite.  Cover the area with a gauze pad and tape in place with first aid tape.  I repeated this treatment morning and night for about three days.  Within the first 8 hours the pain and itch had greatly subsided.  By the third day, the bite had opened and the venom began to ooze out in a clear/bloody discharge.  (If at anytime the bite showed signs of infection, I would have promptly taken Caitlin to our Dr. for treatment.)  The bite was still somewhat red and you could feel a lump under the skin about the size of a large marble, but there was little to no pain.  Once the bite opened and drained, I stopped using the paste and started using triple antibiotic ointment.

Now, a little over a week later, the wound is completely healed and doesn’t show any signs of scarring.¬† I’m sure this remedy would work on most painful insect bites.

Disclaimer: You can use home remedies to treat spider bites, but if bitten by a poisonous spider, it is highly recommended that you also seek medical attention to treat the spider bite before your symptoms get worse.

Matthew Moore Photography Blog: Sisters


My beautiful girls, perfectly captured by an amazing and insightful Texas artist and photographer.¬† To see more of Matthew’s work, please visit his website by clicking ENTER below.


Friday, July 27, 2012


These two sisters, Rachel & Caitlin, came to us for their “sister portraits.” When we first met them, it took less than ten seconds to realize just how polar opposite they were. Even so, it was apparent that they loved each other dearly and were completely inseparable. Needless to say, we loved them both from the start! Since Katie and I don’t always get a chance to meet our clients before the day of the shoots, I was thankful that Katie was doing their hair and makeup. This gave me a good hour or so just to observe the relationship between the two sisters, watch how they interacted, and try and figure out just what made this seemingly strange relationship work so well. Again, I’m not exaggerating when I ¬†emphasize how polar opposite their personalities are. The oldest sister, Rachel, is very outgoing, very fun, and energetic, yet seemed to carry a heavy weight of responsibility. She was a little more direct and seemed to wear her heart right out there on her sleeve. Caitlin is a little more quiet and reserved (at least initially). ¬†She hides her feelings well and (she’ll kill me for saying this) seemed a bit more sensitive than I think most people would assume. Katie and I really wanted to¬†draw out these characteristics, so we¬†decided that the relationship between them would be our sole focus of the shoot. If we came away with pretty pictures but didn’t accomplish that goal, the whole thing would have been considered a failure from our perspective.

The first image is one of my favorites and is a very good example of that relationship. ¬†There’s a vulnerability about Caitlin (the younger sister) as she shows a softer, more tender side to her that I’m guessing not everyone is privileged to see. She seems to unveil the true love, respect, and admiration she has towards her older sister. These sentiments subtly, yet forcefully, come through. ¬†There’s a great strength about Rachel in this image. In the same way that most people might overlook how tenderhearted¬†Caitlin really is, you would never guess just how fierce Rachel can be if need be. You can see this sort of lioness- protective and fearless glint in her eyes and in her face. She’s the sister you want on your side looking out for you. You can hide behind her and know that come what may, she would not only fight for you, you have no doubt she’ll win.¬† I’m proud of these images because I feel we accomplished what we set out to do.